Chairman of Hero Enterprise Sunil Kant Munjal has announced an investment of about $15.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) into Aavishkaar’s new fund, the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. The fund will focus on financial inclusion, employment, and promoting grassroots entrepreneurship.

Commenting on the investment, Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise said, “At this stage in India’s evolution, it is clear that, for the entire country to develop, rural areas and underprivileged citizens must become part of the economic miracle, not through charity, but through real opportunities. Currently, most of India’s development has taken place in urban areas and in medium and large enterprises.’’

Aavishkaar, a part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, is one of the pioneers in impact investing. Since its incorporation in 2002, it has made more than 50 investments, across sectors and geographies including the low-income states. It has raised five funds, delivering commercial returns with a total of about $201 Mn (INR 1300 Cr) under management.

As per a company statement, Aavishkaar’s approach has resulted in the invested enterprises impacting over 70 Mn lives and creating over 150K jobs and livelihoods.

Earlier today, a recent report released by DIPP and SIDBI states that under the Fund of Funds as of March 31, 2017, SIDBI has committed about $96.5 Mn (INR 623.50 Cr) to 17 Alternative Investment Funds.

Of these 17 AIFs, Aavishkar Bharat Fund has the highest corpus with a total of about $309.5 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr). Aavishkaar Bharat Fund is Aavishkaar’s sixth fund, and is a SEBI registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund. It plans to invest in businesses engaging with the underserved population in sectors that form the bedrock of India’s growth – like agriculture, financial services, healthcare, waste & sanitation, renewable energy and logistics & supply chain.

In April 2017, Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar raised $10 Mn Series B funding led by Accel India. Existing investors IDG Ventures and Aavishkaar also participated in this round.

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